If you are on Social Security retirement can you file for disability?
It really depends upon which disability program you might be entitled to receive. For example, Social Security Disability requires that you be both fully insured and disability insured in order to receive disability benefits. If you are disabled at the time you file for Social Security there is always the option of filing for both retirement and disability simultaneously. This would mean you would receive retirement benefits while waiting on your disability determination.
If you are denied disability, you will still be able to remain on retirement benefits. You can only file simultaneously if you are not working or not earning over the SGA monthly earnings limit. Generally, this limit changes each year, so you would need to ask when you call to schedule your retirement appointment if you are thinking of doing both. Even if you remain working over the limit but you become disabled later, you can still file for disability up to six months prior to your full retirement age.
If you are not insured for Social Security Disability but are receiving retirement and you become disabled you would only be able to be considered for SSI disability. This program has strict income and resource limits. For instance, if you receive more than $750.00 a month in Social Security benefits alone you would not be eligible for this need based disability program.
Additionally, your other income and resources would have to be addressed during your interview even if your Social Security retirement is under $750.00 to determine if you meet SSI income and resource limits.
In summary, you can file for disability if you are receiving Social Security retirement benefits but you will have to see if you meet the non-medical requirements for SSDI and/or SSI disability.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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